The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, in partnership with the William Penn Foundation, has announced grants totaling $1.77 million to twelve conservation groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania through the Delaware River Restoration Fund.
Part of NFWF's broader Delaware River Watershed Initiative, the fund was launched in 2014 with a $7 million grant from the William Penn Foundation to protect the13,539 square miles of land and water comprising the watershed, which is home to native brook trout, river herring, oysters, threatened plants, and other flora and fauna. The initiative supports conservation efforts in targeted regions of the watershed through multistate investments to restore habitats and improve and protect critical sources of drinking water.
The grant recipients in New Jersey are the Nature Conservancy, the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority, the American Littoral Society, the Natural Lands Trust, and the New Jersey Audubon Society. The Pennsylvania recipients include the Brandywine Red Clay Alliance, the Darby Creek Valley Association, the Pennsylvania Resources Council, Berks Nature, the Brandywine Conservancy and Museum of Art, Horsham Township, and the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership. Grants awarded in the third funding cycle will support twelve projects and generated $3 million in matching funds from the grantees, providing a total conservation impact of $4.77 million.
"The Delaware River is the longest undammed river east of the Mississippi, flowing freely for three hundred and thirty miles," said Andrew Johnson, director of the water protection program at the Penn Foundation. "It provides clean drinking water to more than fifteen million people, many in major cities, including Philadelphia, New York, Camden, and Wilmington. The 2016 slate of Delaware River Restoration Fund grants represents a strong commitment to restoring water quality and habitats in this iconic watershed, and we look forward to continued work with NFWF and its partners for broader water quality restoration."